East Falls extends from Wissahickon Avenue to the east to the Schuylkill River to the west. North to south, it encompasses the edge of the Wissahickon Creek and its associated park to Route 1. Residents adopt the 19129 zip codes.
Just across the expressway, a daily destination for breakfast is Trolley Car Cafe, serving – on a patio, during warm months – breakfast gumbo, cream chipped corn and frittatas loaded with vegetables grown in the cafe’s own on-site garden. Vault and Vine is a bright and enlivening flower shop that doubles as a cafe, serving High Point coffee and fresh pastries. Founded Coffee and Pizza is a unique hybrid concept that promises a perfect cappuccino, but also zany specialty pizzas like a cheesesteak-stuffed pie. For an old-faithful coffee indulgence, there’s Dunkin’ Donuts.
Frank’s Pizza serves the full spectrum of takeout lunch options: pizza by the slice, stromboli, wraps, salads, “pockets” and pastas. Major Wing Lee’s custom-makes affordable hoagies that are both affordable and well-regarded among longtime residents. Foghorn, keeping it simple, specializes in “Philly-fried” chicken, served with coleslaw and house-made pickles with a special sauce; it also serves a crispy cod sandwiched between a potato roll.
Fiorino is a delightful Italian BYO for dinner – calamari, spaghetti scoglio and veal marsala all being standouts. In Riva, an Italian gem planted along the Schuylkill River, has wood-fired pizzas and a spicy chicken parm. Laxmi’s Indian Grille is a go-to for takeout samosas, curries and tandoori chicken.
Billy Murphy’s Irish Saloon is an under-the-radar spot for beer and a burger, with 10 taps and a “turf” burger with a light and creamy sauce. Wissahickon Brewing Company has an impressive list of nearly two dozen craft ales and also hosts community events for a variety of lifestyles.
The Schuylkill River Trail is an ideal stretch for runners or, for lounging, weekend picnickers. There’s also Wissahickon Valley Park and its associated attractions on the southern tip that borders the neighborhood, like Saylor Grove, William Leonidas Spring Fountain, Wissahickon Hall and, of course, the creek itself, surrounded by acres upon acres of verdant parkland.
Elsewhere in the neighborhood is McMichael Park, in addition to several fields and recreation centers affiliated with Thomas Jefferson University and Drexel University.
The area is home to one of only a handful of Philadelphia Rock Gym locations – a mammoth 15,000-square-foot facility for rock and rope climbing. .
It’s also home to a remarkable number of historic sites – enough for the neighborhood to warrant its own historical society. To name a few of the must-sees: the family home of Grace Kelly, the marvelous metal Falls Bridge that hangs over the Schuylkill River, the building that housed the very first medical college in the world to train women, an Underground Railroad house where slaves once passed through, and Laurel Hill Cemetery – a nearly two-centuries-old garden-cemetery known to host seasonal events and themed tours.
A simple ride through the neighborhood, meanwhile, will uncover a slew of well-preserved homes from the 1800s and a few early modernist buildings.
Philadelphia School District students in the 19129 zip code attend the Thomas Mifflin School for elementary and middle grades and the Philip Randolph Career and Technical School for high school grades. As a private option, there’s William Penn Charter School, plus public-charters like KIPP Philadelphia Elementary Academy, for elementary grades, and Mastery Charter School, for middle and high school grades.
ShopRite is located just over the expressway in Allegheny West for major grocery-shopping trips. Major Wing Lee Grocery Market, meanwhile, while it may be most coveted as a destination for hoagies, doubles as a stop for deli meats, snacks, milk and other essentials. Wicked Bee Hollow is an apiary that sells raw honey, plus soaps and balms. Tilden Food Market is a convenience store with a few quick-pickups, but is ideal for non-food items – paper towels, cleaning supplies and more.
For pharmacy needs, there’s a Rite Aid along Midvale Avenue.
A Fine Wine & Spirits store is located over the Wissahickon Creek on Ridge Avenue.
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Hilly with small-town charm and big-city access, this neighborhood scrapes the edges of the city while offering its own main street filled with shops, bars, restaurants and a bridge trail branched off from the thoroughfare.
Neighboring Manayunk to the northwest, Roxborough is a historic, largely residential neighborhood with well-preserved townhomes that date back to Victorian years. It borders the Wissahickon Creek and its associated park.
Known as a “railroad suburb” of the city, Chestnut Hill is notable for its timeless homes and small-town charm that makes it one of the most treasured areas of Philadelphia – complete with shopping, dining and plenty of annual traditions.
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